CD Reviews


Southern Halo - Rewind

One of the feel-good Country singles of 2016 is going to be “Rewind” by Southern Halo, the trio of teenage sisters whose remarkable harmonies put them in the company of Lady Antebellum and Little Big Town. Written by Catt Gravitt (Jana Kramer), Gerald O’Brien (Martina McBride), and rising country artist Chancie Neal, “Rewind” is a perfectly-crafted Country-Pop song that rivals anything...

Mt. Mountain - Cosmos Terros

It’s long been lamented that for practical and commercial purposes the album format is dead or at least in irreversible decline. But Cosmos Terros is a reminder of what a great album can be. It’s not just a compartmentalised commercial package, but a single artistic statement and an immersive sonic organism. Like the sprawling expanse of Sleep’s Jerusalem, Mt. Mountain’s debut album...

Joe Bonamassa - Blues of Desperation

It is now hard to believe that as recently as five years ago, guitarist Joe Bonamassa was largely unknown. But with his albums hitting No. 1 with such regularity, the top chart position seems to be an afterthought now. Such is the case with his 17th release, “Blues Of Desperation.” The project is once again helmed by producer Kevin Shirley. While some tracks have a little sheen on them...

Mark Harrison - On The Chicken Sandwich Train Live

Mark Harrison is an English acoustic guitarist with his heart and soul in the Deep South of Mississippi, The Delta and the blues in general. The title of this, his latest release, comes from the vittles many old black musicians and share-cropping migrants carried on the long rail journey North to the anticipated riches of Chicago and other northern cities where developing industry offered...

Eric Bibb & North Country Far with Danny Thompson - The Happiest Man In The World

Eric Bibb may have good reason to be the Happiest Man in the World, with top quality music seemingly pouring from the guy on a regular basis. This is his second release inside twelve months, following hot on the heels of the highly acclaimed Lead Belly's Gold which featured French harp-man Jean Jacques Milteau and was released on the same label (Stony Plain in USA).

Glider Pilots - Some Where Out There

For many of us, the thought of writing music with a sibling, let alone spending copious amounts of time with one is about as unappealing as having no Wi-Fi for a week. But up in Far North Queensland brother / sister duo Ben, and Samantha Hope have been making the seemingly impossible work – writing, producing, and making subtle synthy waves as folky dream pop pair, Glider Pilots.

Sex On Toast - Ready

Sex On Toast seeped into the consciousness of many Australians years ago with their wet dream inducing self-titled debut LP. Busy making their rounds on the tour circuit, the Melbourne 10 person crew have left listeners frothing for more of their infectious, sultry tunes. After spending two years carefully crafting their second coming, their latest treat for us is presented in...

Jimmy Pinchak - Blue on Arrival

Good blues albums are more numerous than you might think. The genre is small, admittedly, but there’s lots of talented players across the world still drawn by the music’s allure. Jimmy Jax Pinchak divides his creative life between work as a television and feature film actor while wowing West Coast crowds with The Jimmy Jax Pinchak Band. Songwriter, guitarist, and vocalist, Pinchak has...

Four Genre-Breaking Artists Shine on New Sets

Four noteworthy ensembles are breaking new ground across a wide range of genres, while a new documentary celebrates the electric guitar. Artist: GoGo Penguin. Title: Man Made Object (Blue Note Records). You might like if you enjoy: Vince Guaraldi Trio, Robert Glasper Trio, Brian Eno. Tell me more: Manchester, UK-based trio GoGo Penguin crafts soundscapes as lush and exciting as any young ...

Day Wave - Hard To Read

Day Wave’s latest EP ‘Hard to Read’ is a gentle pulse of a record, one that shimmers slowly into frame, ticks over dreamily for some twenty minutes or so, and waves farewell sleepily as it recedes from view. Its five songs play comfortably within their areas of expertise, each one introducing a new wrinkle while remaining true to the band’s relaxed yet propulsive sound. At times it can be perhaps...

Brian Pharaoh - Sorry

Half measures don’t work. The men and women who find success in the music industry as artists and entertainers reach that lofty peak through the sheer dint of obsession. Oklahoma native Brian Pharaoh wrote his first song, about fishing, when he was five years old and has maintained a passion for music throughout his life. He released a debut full length album in 2003 entitled Gettin’ My Feet...

Saint Henry - Silverback

A Silverback. While the urban definition is typically applied to a dude with a high ego that lifts weights, this insult holds a deeper meaning that derives from our ancient predecessors: Gorillas. For those who aren’t an expert with their primate species, a Silverback is “a mature male mountain gorilla, distinguished by an area of white or silvery hair across the back, and the dominant member...

Jesse Redwing - Crawlin’ Up The Walls

Returning to the original seed of rock and roll, stemming from the pure roots of the blues, Jesse Redwing and his crew (Nick Meredith on drums, and Brendan Clark on bass) have been nurturing the souls of many at packed-out gigs around town as of late. The Sydney-based trio of blues hustlers are creating some contagious grooves, with a soft rock and roll edge that fuses together...

Summer Flake - Hello Friends

It’s an unusual feeling to be both comforted and unsettled by a piece of music but somehow this is the feeling Summer Flake’s latest release exudes. Laden with rich compositions and the ambling voice of Stephanie Crase, Hello Friends presents us with a sound that’s just as delicately dream-like as it is raw and cutting.

Night Gaunts - Conversations with Creation

When nighttime comes around, the urge to party lurks in the shadows. You need a sound to fill the silence and get the party started. Auckland’s Night Gaunts is a 5-piece band of lads with Paul Jonassen on lead vocals and guitar, Hayden on bass and backing vocals, Simon Jonassen on drums and backing vocals, Jacob O’Brien on sax and backing vocals and John Faulding on guitar, keys and...
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